Swim Poll of the Week: Should Sun Yang Receive a Lesser Sentence in Exchange For Cooperation With Doctors and FINA Reps?


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday, March 19, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Should Sun Yang receive a lesser sentence in exchange for cooperation with doctors and FINA reps?

Chinese swimming superstar Sun Yang was handed an eight-year ban on February 28 for tampering with a doping sample in September 2018. FINA let him off the hook and allowed him to compete at the 2019 World Championships, where he was met with jeers and protests on the podium for the medals he won. But now his career is effectively over.

The penalty is not backdated and starts on the day it was announced (February 28), ruling Sun out of the defense of the 200m freestyle title at Tokyo 2020.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed the ruling saying that it “confirms those concerns and is a significant result.”

Mack Horton, who in 2016 called Sun a “cheat” before beating Sun, the defending champion in the Olympic 400m freestyle final, told Swimming World today:

“My stance has always been for clean sport. It is not, and never will be about individuals or nations. Today’s outcome does not change my stance.”

The other man involved in podium protests against Sun’s presence at World titles last July, Duncan Scott, of Britain, told Swimming World:

“I fully respect and support the decision that has been made and announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this morning. I believe in clean sport and a level playing field for all athletes and I trust in CAS and WADA to uphold these values.”

FINA, the international federation, now faces huge questions about its handling of a case in which its role was, at the very least, to remain neutral. The case goes down in swimming and anti-doping history as a thumping reminder that sports federations cannot serve as both police and promoter, the two roles representing a huge conflict of interest.

In its statement on the CAS decision, FINA did not refer to any of the issues that demand urgent review of the governance structures, checks, balances and accountability within the organization. A FINA statement read:

FINA has noted the judgement published by CAS today in the case of WADA versus Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Notwithstanding any further legal action, and as directed, FINA will implement CAS’s decision with regard to disciplinary action against the swimmer. FINA has also noted CAS’s provisions with regard to the modification of competition results.

Should Sun Yang receive a lesser sentence in exchange for cooperation with doctors and FINA reps?

We asked for the swim poll and you answered with…

Here are the answers:

Yes – 19%

No – 81%


  1. Scott Watson-Brown

    Also get caught for second offense, lose all your results since first offense.

  2. Chris Tibbs

    Can’t believe I am reading this. He shouldn’t be on this page if he were honest and clean. He would’ve been cooperating with doctors and fina officials if it were a genuine – albeit stupid – error ..if such a thing even exists. The contempt displayed alone should be enough to warrant the guilt and the ban should be for life.

    • Chris Tibbs

      …and where the hell did ‘swimming superstar’ eminate from? Drug fuelled results thief would be more appropriate ?

  3. Dick Beaver

    Swimming World, what a stupid poll question!!!
    How about asking how our super swimmers are finding alternate ways to train?
    As far as Sun is concerned, NOT ONLY NO!
    HELL NO.
    Let’s attempt to keep all of the cheaters out of our wonderful sport.

    • Craig Lord

      Dick Beaver I agree – Ed

  4. Donna Pim

    Nope and he deserves no more of our time please don’t poll on stupid things like this.
    Far bigger issues to discuss. Like how much love can we send to all the swimmers and their teams that have worked so hard to get where they are or just for the fun of it.

  5. avatar
    Bill VOLBERS

    Too much slack & fog has been going on in too many sports for TOO LONG.
    Never should have seen or heard a word about this egomaniac after 2014.
    This type of situation is black & white. No pause. No deal(s). CHEATDONE
    Try! Please TRY to set a positive example. Clear the fog right here, right now = SUN YANG BANNED FOR LIFE. ALL RECORDS POST 2014 failed-test REVERSED.
    DONE. SIMPLE & CRISPY CLEAR. ITS A WONDERFUL THING. A proper example for all of sport.

  6. Miranda Emaus

    No. It would be special treatment for one athlete for someone who has already gotten special treatment. It’s not fair to the other athletes who have always been clean.

  7. Eric Lahmy

    Quelle question idiote! Sun Yang a été protégé parce que la FINA ne voulait pas qu’il soit puni. La Chine dépense des sommes extravangantes pour la FINA (championnats du monde, etc).

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief


  8. Helen Murray

    No no no . In fact hand medals back and give to rightful ‘clean’ athletes

  9. Darrell Reed

    Imho he HAD plenty of opportunities to cooperate and chose to be an ass! Let him begin to comprehend the consequences of his choices! Wish we could have a comprehensive roundup of ALL the cheaters (caffeine abusers included!!!) and keep them out of EVERY POOL FOREVER!

  10. Halim Yussuf

    No, nope, nyet, negative, nada. Is that clear enough?

  11. avatar
    Manuel Barragan

    Absolutely NO.
    He plaid his card and lost. He nd the Chinese must go.